Mabda Report 10/06/12

A window on the West in Saudi Arabia

Sprawling, second-floor office suite in the Saudi capital is home to an experiment that says a lot about how this oil-rich kingdom is changing.

The Western Studies Institute is the first non-governmental organisation in Saudi Arabia dedicated to fostering cultural and religious understanding between the West and the Middle East, particularly between the United States and Saudi Arabia. “We are trying to spread awareness of the importance of understanding each other and strengthen the friendship that got interrupted by events that created hatred,” said Fahad A. Alhomoudi, the institute’s founder and president.

Azerbaijan and Organization of Islamic Cooperation discussed possible measures on fight against Islamophobia

Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Elmar Mamadyarov has met General Secretary of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Ekmeleddin Insanoglu staying with official visit in the country.

Foreign Affairs Ministry of Azerbaijan reports that in the course of the meeting the sides discussed Azerbaijan’s big and significant role in OIC composition.

At the meeting the guest expressed serious concern by growing Islamophobia in the world and stressed importance to take measures to fight this tendency.

All Across the Jordan River: An Interfaith Seminar on the Lower Jordan River

Last week, FoEME‘s Tel Aviv office partnered with Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) and the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development (ICSD) to undertake a pilot tour and discussion about the Jordan River with a mixed group of Muslim, Jewish and Christian participants in what proved to be an unexpected day for most.

The participants, students studying to be Sheikhs, Rabbis and Priests, some already ordained, together with representatives from RHR and ICSD joined up with FoEME staff in the early morning hours to get out of our offices and classrooms and visit the Lower Jordan.  After introductions we started to get to know the Jordan from many vantage points, asking questions throughout the morning tour: What stories and themes related to the Jordan resonate in our traditions?  How does the Jordan of our traditions interact with the Jordan we see today?  How can it be that the Holy and once “mighty” Jordan of our traditions is the same polluted trickle that we see before us?  Should the Jordan matter to good Jews? Muslims? Christians?